Mini Cherry Pies

Makes 12 mini pies

Shortcrust Dough (recipe follows)

6          cups (780 grams) frozen pitted dark sweet cherries

½          cup (100 grams) granulated sugar

¼          cup (32 grams) cornstarch

1          teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt

1          teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract

½          teaspoon (2 grams) almond extract

4          ounces (120 grams) 60% to 70% cacao bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1          large egg (50 grams) room temperature

1          tablespoon (15 grams) water

Garnish: confectioners’ sugar

  1. Lightly spray a 12-cup muffin pan with baking spray with flour.
  2. Cut one-third of Shortcrust Dough (about 280 grams); rewrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. On a lightly floured surface, roll remaining two-thirds of dough (about 560 grams) to ⅛-inch thickness. Using a 4-inch round cutter, cut 12 circles from dough. Cut a 2-inch slit in each circle from center toward edge. (This will help get the rounds in the pan.) Press each circle into a prepared cup, making sure to keep a uniform thickness throughout, especially where dough overlaps, leaving a ⅛-inch overhang just over each cup. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to use.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine cherries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt, and extracts. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook, stirring frequently, until thickened and sauce is translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely. Stir in chopped chocolate.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll remaining Shortcrust Dough to ⅛-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut 12 rounds. Using a small round or heart-shaped cutter, cut small circles from center of each round.
  6. Spoon 3 tablespoons (65 grams) filling into each prepared crust in cups. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush egg wash along edge of each well. Place a 3-inch round on each muffin cup, pressing along overhang to seal; using 3-inch round cutter, cut off excess. Refrigerate until firm, at least 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  8. Lightly brush tops of pies with egg wash.*
  9. Bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 to 20 minutes. Using a thin-bladed knife or offset spatula, run blade around top edge of each cup. Using knife to help lift, remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. When ready to serve, garnish with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

*Water can be used to seal dough in lieu of egg wash to eliminate the use of eggs.

Shortcrust Dough

Makes dough for 12 mini pies

1¼        cups (284 grams) unsalted butter, softened

⅔         cup (133 grams) granulated sugar

1          large egg (50 grams), room temperature

3          cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour

¾          teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until combined and creamy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in egg until combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour and salt, beating until just combined.
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.